As he headed to Eugene for the Wanda Diamond League Final last weekend, pole vault world champion Mondo Duplantis knew he was in potentially world-record breaking form.
The Swedish superstar had just defended his world title in Budapest, adding another global gong to his Olympic gold and two Diamond League titles. He was out to claim a third successive Diamond Trophy at the Prefontaine Classic, and he was out to do so in style.
Already a six-time world record breaker at the age of just 23, Duplantis had been flirting with a new historic height of 6.23m for several weeks. In Zurich, at the first Diamond League meeting after the World Championships, he only just clipped the bar on his final attempt at he height. Two weeks later in Brussels, it was a similar story as he once again came agonisingly close at the final attempt.
Yet in the end, Duplantis is a man for the biggest stages, and he saved his latest world record for the Diamond League Final. And what a world record it was.
He had said before the meeting that he thought he had a big jump left in him, but even he couldn't have predicted that he would clear the bar at the very first attempt. Having already sewn up the Diamond League title with a comfortable victory at 6.02m, Duplantis then sailed over 6.23m without a single failure. Having hit the mat, the adrenalin bounced him straight back up and he sprinted, disbelieving, to his family on the sidelines.
"I love pole vaulting so much and I’ve loved it ever since I was just a little kid. If I’m able to take pole vaulting to another level and I can get as much eyes as possible watching it by jumping really high and doing some cool things, then that’s a job well done by me," he said after collecting both the trophy and his emotions.
And Duplantis insists that 6.23m is still just the start.
"The limit is very high, and I hope that I can continue to jump well and keep jumping higher than I did today, but for now I’m not really thinking about anything except enjoying this moment and enjoying what I just did. For me, I just try to jump high."